Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Moroccan Toads , Moroccan Tide - Environmentalists working in Morocco

I've come across these two rather interesting sites both dealing with an environmental matter in Morocco. One is concerned with studying an endangered toad and the other about the use of the clothing detergent Tide in Morocco and how this must be affecting the groundwater.

Below is a short portion of the Tide article, click on the link above for the full version :

On the 30th May 2008, almost 10 months ago, colleague and good friend of mine decided to write to Alan G. Lafley, Chairman of Procter & Gamble .

My friend had just returned from Morocco where he had been shocked by the overwhelming presence of Tide washing products in most of the rural areas he had visited. He shared one observation that is rather common place in the Maghreb: many inhabitants wash clothing directly in the streams of the back country.

With Tide washing powder available everywhere in nearby markets, the obvious question that sprung to his mind was whether the products had been adapted to the local environment. In fact, Moroccans use the word "Tide" in a generic manner to describe a "detergent". This is telling of the product's importance the country.

Morocco suffers from water scarcity and overall poor water quality. The Government has a very informative website that depicts a comprehensive portrait of the country's water resources (in French and Arabic) .

Yet, many Moroccans are using one of Procter & Gamble's leading brands: "Tide". They do so directly in the streams. An estimated 90 percent of wastewater in developing countries similar to Morocco is still discharged directly into rivers and streams without any waste treatment processing[1].

Many streams in Morocco show very little quantities of dissolved oxygen, especially when of industrial or agricultural origin. Authorities also report that water quality in many lakes, basins, and reservoirs show increasing signs of eutrophication . It is proven that this situation usually originates from inputs of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus from human activities such as farming, washing, and industrial processes.

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